The Making and Remaking of Irish History: An Interview with Vincent Comerford

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Comerford, R.V.
Doolin, David
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On Tuesday, 26 April 2016, I sat down with former head of History at Maynooth University, Professor Vincent Comerford, to chat about the current state of the discipline, about changes within history over time and the telling of Irish history, and about the centennial commemorations of Ireland’s 1916 Rising. Prof. Comerford is originally from Tipperary and came to Maynooth in 1962, where he studied for his undergraduate and Master’s degree. He then attended Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and earned his PhD with the guidance and supervision of T. W. Moody. Subsequently, he became a lecturer in History at Maynooth in 1977, and was appointed Professor of Modern History and head of department in 1989, remaining in post until his retirement in 2010. At Maynooth he supervised more than thirty PhD theses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Ireland, and oversaw a great expansion in the size of the History department and the scope of its activities. Professor Comerford’s bibliography includes: Charles J. Kickham: A Study in Irish Nationalism and Literature (1979); The Fenians in Context: Irish Politics and Society, 1848-82 (1985); and Ireland: Inventing the Nation (2003). Comerford also contributed the primary narrative for the period 1850-91 to A New History of Ireland. He has edited several collections and written numerous articles that focus on Irish nationalism and nineteenth century Irish history. The following is a transcript of our (just-over-one-hour-long) conversation. Author keywords: Discourse analysis; Irish history and culture; Ireland--History--Easter Rising, 1916; Interview